category, philosophical term that literally means predication or assertion. It was first used by Aristotle, whose 10 categories formed a list of all the ways in which assertions can be made of a subject. Immanuel Kant's 12 categories constitute an exhaustive list of the a priori forms through which a person knows the phenomenal world. The term has also been used in many other senses by various philosophers.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.